How Malik McDowell’s injury affects the Seahawks in 2017


Malik McDowell suffered injuries in an ATV accident a few weeks ago and his rookie Seahawks season is now in jeopardy of being missed.

The Seattle Seahawks announced on Sunday that Malik McDowell could be out for an extended time, possibly the entire year. This after McDowell suffered facial injuries and a concussion in his native Michigan during the offseason break. The injuries are reported to not be life- or career-threatening, however.

The Seahawks placed McDowell on injured reserve and signed Rodney Coe to replace him, at least temporarily.

McDowell was expected by many to fill a need for the interior pass rush this season for Seattle. In mini-camp, McDowell was playing mostly outside, though, so the Seahawks plans for what to do with McDowell this year were murky.

McDowell’s injuries, though significant, at least do not seem to be to his knees or arms. The extent of his issues remain mostly unknown. In 2017, McDowell would have not been expected to play major portions of games, but still to be present on important snaps, especially obvious passing downs. This could still be the case at some point this year, but McDowell’s learning curve is now extremely reduced.

Should McDowell miss the entire season, he basically comes back with the experience of a rookie. In 2018, Seattle needs McDowell to begin to take on a much larger role as Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril will be two years older than they are now. Avril will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.  The Seahawks would have liked to have been comfortable enough with McDowell, if they were going to continue to play him at defensive end, to make a decision whether to keep Avril or not beyond 2018.

Some reaction to McDowell’s injury

All this being said, McDowell may still come back to play in 2017. Though the news is not very optimistic for that right now. Gregg Bell of the News Tribune tweeted out a video of Russell Wilson with Wilson saying the team is “praying” for McDowell.

McDowell tweeted that he is thankful for the support shown him by Seattle.

Some might question whether McDowell should have been on the ATV in the first place. Going into one’s rookie season one could assume a player will do anything to avoid potential danger. As much as possible anyway…

Still, here is hoping that McDowell comes back quickly and healthy. The Seahawks will need him eventually.